Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced reader’s copy of Montauk. I managed to buckle down and read this (unfortunately after the release date) and HELLO HEAD TURNER! Oooooo Nicola Harrison you sly, sly writer!
I am usually not a fan of historical fiction books, but I could not resist a book set in Montauk before it was “cool.” This book takes place in 1938 when the development of Montauk first started. It became a summer town for the New York City elite.
I loved the historically accurate characters and relationships. Essentially Montauk was filled with wives and children (though they were hardly around because, nannies) living the leisure life while their husbands worked in the city and visited on the weekends. They drank and smoke and planned events to keep them busy during the day. People turned their backs when they saw people doing things they shouldn’t, and everyone in their circles knew because they all gossiped! Our main character, Beatrice, happens to be childless and is struggling with her inner happiness.
She is trapped in a marriage. Her husband, Harry, made it a point to note that they could never get divorced. It would destroy their reputations and embarrass their families (even though she did not come from New York elite). She struggled with the death of her older brother and it was Harry who lifted her out of that funk. Now it was harry who was bringing her down once again.
I wanted to murder Harry with my own two hands. Beatrice was different from the typical housewife and I am glad she found a true friend in Dolly. Their conversations made me happy and I am glad that Bea could have someone like Dolly. Beatrice also friended some locals, but had to be careful about her friendships with them because they could be fired for fraternizing with guests of Montauk! Crazy!! We follow Beatrice on her journey to making herself happy…I can’t give away too many details or I’ll ruin the read for you!
This is a must read, solid 4 star read. The ending culminated into a shocking surprise. I could not stop. When I finished I realized it was 1:00am and I was wide awake. That ending just came out of nowhere and WOW. This was a picturesque read that I envisioned in my head; I could almost smell the salty sea air, that’s how vivid it was. This book will make you smile, angry, bring tears to your eyes, and then leave you a little heartbroken, yet whole. You’ll have to read this one this summer!
Author: Nicola Harrison
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Women’s Domestic Literature, Family Life Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: June 4, 2019